Old Cambrian Society

  OC Society
  OC Alumni
  OC News
  Events Diary
  Register Here
  Impala Project
  Where are they?
  Contact us

   Reunion of John Walsh & Pat Drury - Kenya, January 2004

Reunion of John Walsh & Pat Drury - Kenya, January 2004

Photo & text supplied by John Walsh

Image of Reunion of John Walsh & Pat Drury - Kenya, January 2004
L-R: Pat Drury (Clive 1948?) and John Walsh (Rhodes 1940-1946)

Contents of an e-mail of 23rd July 2004 from John Walsh to Steve Le Feuvre (Webmaster):

We only invested in a computer last year, and it took us three months to get to the stage where we could really explore its incredible (to us) variety of information. Discovering the PoW's website was the work of a friend of ours from Winnipeg who stayed with us for a few days. "Hey, John, I think I've found your school" he said one morning and that led to me discovering John Cook's C.V.

John and I were children together in Limuru, and hadn't been in touch for maybe sixty years. Unbelievable! We contacted each other via you, my main man, and that led to the discovery of Pat Drury, a dear childhood friend with whom I had lived for several years in Limuru, and at whose wedding I was best man in 1952. I never saw him again, and, via John, with news of the sad death of Pat's older brother Mike, I found out he was still in the land of the living, but where I didn't know, and nor did John.

Meanwhile, again through you, we discovered Bob Stocker, who lived but 20 miles from us on Vancouver Island. We made contact and arranged to meet for lunch. Talk about enjoyment - Bob and I reconstructed our school days for hours whilst our wives, Susan and Patricia, patiently listened, with Patricia, who was a Kenya girl, helping out with a recollection now and then. Wonder of wonders, they had an e-mail address for Pat - but didn't know if it was good or not. Well, it was, and the upshot of all this was a return message from Pat, who doesn't use a computer - "Too long in the sticks" as he put it, (this was his son-in-law's e-mail address. You might know him - Brian Heath - he's a big gun in the administration of part of the Masai Mara and has a wonderful house in Ruiru, full of African memorabilia). Letters were exchanged, and in January we set off for the sixteen hour journey "home", with my very nervous Canadian wife trying to sound confident about going to a country with really the most horrific travel advisories.

Pat picked us up at the Stanley and I found myself shaking hands with my old "rafiki kutoka mwaka mingi sana" after a separation of over five decades. We both looked exactly as we remembered each other - NOT!! Actually, it was only years added on to faces we hadn't forgotten - I'd have recognized him anywhere!

We had six wonderful weeks staying with him and his charming wife, Joan, the latter being an amiable organizer of amazing ability and so, with Joan organizing in conjunction with a no longer overly nervous Susan, and Pat driving, we rediscovered old stamping grounds and homes of our youth, went on safari (joined by my son from New Zealand who flew over for a week), visited sanctuaries and game parks, stayed with and visited Joan's children and relatives - it was truly a blast. My Swahili (which was my first language) had never left me, and so I had a wonderful time with the "wenyeji" and impressed Susan no end with my linguistic capabilities!

Such a wonderful and often emotional time. I hope you'll put this letter out for public viewing - maybe we'll catch up with someone else, plus I'd like others to know what your website did for us.

Thank you.

John Walsh

A further comment from John, following on from Webmaster's enquiry as to whether Pat Drury was an Old Cambrian:
  • Pat is indeed an Old Cambrian - I think he was in Clive - an ardent cricketer and horseman. He was a couple of years behind me at school, and tells of playing polo, under the aegis of "Pansy" James. I can't recall where they kept the horses, although he did tell me. There was no such sport when I was there. I didn't even know "Pansy" could ride! Pat never left Africa. He went to South Africa after independence, and then returned to Kenya from Zimbabwe, where he had his last job, three or four years ago. He is now enjoying retirement in Limuru. Full circle, eh?